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5 Tips for Wearing Flannel If You're Over 60, According to Stylists

Heed the following expert guidance and you'll always look put-together in this cold-weather staple.

As the temperatures start to fall and the leaves begin turning colors, it's only natural to start swapping out those lightweight summer pieces for cozier cold-weather alternatives. And without a doubt, one of the best cold-weather fabrics is flannel.

"Flannel is a practical yet fashionable fabric that transcends trends and generations," says Stefaniya Veresovaya, stylist and founder of Heymimisisters. "It's great for fall and winter layering—and the versatility and comfort of flannel means it's a wardrobe staple that anyone can wear from their teen years through older adulthood."

That said, stylists agree there are certain considerations to keep in mind when wearing flannel if you're over 60. Below, the pros share some of their top tips for incorporating this classic material into all your fall and winter ensembles.

RELATED: 11 Fall Wardrobe Essentials as You Get Older.

Aim for balance.

Close up of a red, white, and blue flannel shirt with metal snaps
Audrius Merfeldas / Shutterstock

Have a boxy flannel button-down in your closet? Make sure to pair it with pieces that have shape and structure, says Elizabeth Kosich, a professional stylist and founder of The EveryBody Wrap.

"An oversized flannel shirt doesn't have to look sloppy," she tells Best Life. "Balance things out by pairing it with leggings, a turtleneck, and knee-high boots. For a more tailored look, layer a white shirt underneath and wear classic loafers. Finish the ensemble with a crossbody purse to control the bulk."

Another way to balance the more masculine lines of a flannel button-down, says Kosich, is to tie up the shirt ends in a knot.

RELATED: 5 Tips for Wearing Turtlenecks If You're Over 60, According to Stylists.

Elevate your look with a belt and some bling.

Street style concept with woman wearing plaid flannel wool jacket and brown purse
MS_Studio / Shutterstock

Kosich says a belt can instantly give a flannel shirt a more polished look. "Avoid a thick belt, however, as it will only add bulk," she explains. "Instead, try a skinny belt and play around with its placement." Placing the belt higher up can cinch the smallest part of your waist.

"Another way to create a high-low look is to style your flannel shirt fully buttoned with a statement necklace over the shirt but under the collar," adds Kosich. "Or, accessorize with drop earrings that add just enough sparkle to make an interesting juxtaposition with the rugged flannel."

Vitaliy Kharitonov, style expert and owner of ShirtZilla, recommends pairing flannel with vintage timepieces and chic high-quality boots for a sophisticated yet laidback vibe. Just remember that less is more, and avoid overaccessorizing, he says.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Dress Trendy Over 60, Stylists Say.

Seek out jackets that hit right at the natural waist.

Back view of a lovely blonde girl dressed jacket and hat and looking at epic view at the sunset.
dekazigzag / Shutterstock

It's no secret that flannel shirt jackets—also known as "shackets"—are currently right on trend. But before you embrace this look, Kosich says it's important to specifically seek out pieces that are cropped to hit right at your natural waist.

"This keeps the silhouette parsed in thirds, which are the most flattering proportions," she explains. "The cropped style also keeps the flannel pattern from being too overpowering."

Kosich advises balancing the fitted shacket with wide-leg trousers or ankle-length flare black jeans for a sleek and fashion-forward look.

RELATED: 6 Jean Jacket Styling Tips If You're Over 60, According to Stylists.

Go for neutrals and classic hues.

close up of several colored flannel shirts
Max Sti_G Neugodnikov / Shutterstock

"Stick to timeless over trendy colors and add elevated extras to really make flannel shine," says Veresovaya.

Kharitonov also advises pairing a flannel shirt with neutrals—for example, beige slacks or dark straight-leg jeans. This creates a streamlined, timeless look that never goes out of style. Plus, Veresovaya notes that soft neutral tones like taupe and camel are universally flattering.

"You can also dress up a flannel shirt by layering it under a fitted blazer in a coordinating neutral shade," she adds. "Finish off the outfit with simple accessories like pearl studs and a structured tote bag."

RELATED: 7 Tips for Wearing Cardigans Over 60, According to Stylists.

Mix it with contrasting fabrics.

Stylish senior woman wearing blue dress and plaid wool flannel jacket with boots
Anna Zhuk / Shutterstock

While it might be tempting to pair flannel with other soft and cozy fabrics during the colder months, Veresovaya says it's best to mix it up with some contrasting textures. For example, try a flannel shirt with stretchy slim-cut ponte pants—the smooth knit balances out the fuzzy flannel.

"You could also wear a classic plaid flannel shirt under a fitted suede or leather jacket," she tells Best Life. "The sleek leather plays off the rugged flannel nicely. Just stay clear of chunky knits, which are too bulky with flannel."

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Rebecca Strong
Rebecca Strong is a Boston-based freelance health/wellness, lifestyle, and travel writer. Read more
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